The Art and Science of Practice: The Intersection between Liberal Arts and Allied Health

      So much of modern health care delivery is mechanized: Individuals present for care with an array of signs and symptoms, and the practitioner uses these data to objectively point toward a disease or condition known to encompass these indicators. Clinical determinations are based on comparisons to the measurable data of others, pointing to known causations and correlations yielded in clinical studies. But what if there is not necessarily an immediate or obvious answer to what ails a patient or client? Where do clinicians turn to figure out an answer? The story of health and illness does not end with comparisons against norms and quantifiable data.
      • Guttentag O.E.
      The phrase “art and science of medicine.”.
      Rather, in matters of wellness as an art, “the healthy state of the single individual patient, as encountered in practicing medicine, can only be determined by comparing the single individual with himself.”
      • Guttentag O.E.
      The phrase “art and science of medicine.”.
      Does that mean science and art are complementary or exclusive?
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Guttentag O.E.
        The phrase “art and science of medicine.”.
        Calif West Med. 1939; 50: 86-87
        • Gopalan C.
        Dietetics and nutrition: Impact of scientific advances and development.
        J Am Diet Assoc. 1997; 97: 737-741
        • Dellasega C.
        • Milone-Nuzzo P.
        • Curci K.M.
        • et al.
        The humanities interface of nursing and medicine.
        J Prof Nurs. 2007; 23: 174-179
      1. Brodhead RH. Advocating for the humanities. Accessed May 13, 2013.

      2. What are the humanities? Accessed March 10, 2013.

      3. What is a 21st century liberal education? Accessed February 3, 2014.

        • Polianski I.J.
        • Fangerau H.
        Toward “harder” medical humanities: Moving beyond the “two cultures” dichotomy.
        Acad Med. 2012; 87: 121-126
        • Shapiro J.
        • Coulehan J.
        • Wear D.
        • Montello M.
        Medical humanities and their discontents: Definitions, critiques, and implications.
        Acad Med. 2009; 84: 192-198
      4. Markoff J. Killing the computer to save it. October 31, 2012. Accessed May 13, 2013.

        • Barnard D.
        • Dayringer R.
        • Cassel C.K.
        Toward a person-centered medicine: Religious studies in the medical curriculum.
        Acad Med. 1995; 70 (Cited in: Dellasega C, Milone-Nuzzo P, Curci KM, et al. The humanities interface of nursing and medicine. J Prof Nurs. 2007;23(3):174-179): 806-813
        • Gawande A.
        Complications: A Surgeon's Note for an Imperfect Science.
        Picador, New York, NY2002: 4 (7)
        • Simon H.B.
        Medicine and the humanities: Joining two cultures.
        Am J Med. 2012; 125: 1144-1145
        • Charon R.
        Literature and medicine: Origins and destinies.
        Acad Med. 2000; 75: 23-27
        • Stein K.
        The singing surgeon.
        Bull Am Coll Surg. 2007; 92: 28-33
        • Perkin J.E.
        • Rodriguez J.C.
        More lit can fit: Using nontraditional literature in dietetics education to enhance cultural competence, cultural literacy, and critical thinking.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013; 113: 757-761
      5. Lelchuk Staricoff, R. Arts in health: A review of the medical literature. Accessed August 23, 2013.

      6. Institute of Medicine. Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century.∼/media/Files/Report%20Files/2001/Crossing-the-Quality-Chasm/Quality%20Chasm%202001%20%20report%20brief.pdf. Accessed August 23, 2013.

        • Shapiro J.
        • Rucker L.
        Can poetry make better doctors? Teaching the humanities and arts to medical students and residents at the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine.
        Acad Med. 2003; 78: 953-957
        • Standley F.L.
        • Pratt L.H.
        Conversations with James Baldwin.
        University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS1989: 21
        • Banaszek A.
        Medical humanities courses becoming prerequisites in many medical schools.
        Can Med Assoc J. 2011; 183: E441-E442
        • Davis C.
        Nursing humanities: The time has come.
        Am J Nurs. 2003; 103: 13
      7. Augustine N. The education our economy needs. September 21, 2011. Accessed August 23, 2013.

        • Pellegrino E.D.
        Humanism and the Physician.
        University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN1979 (Cited in: Dellasega C, Milone-Nuzzo P, Curci KM, et al. The humanities interface of nursing and medicine. J Prof Nurs. 2007;23(3):174-179)
        • Charon R.
        The reciprocity of recognition—What medicine exposes about self and others.
        N Engl J Med. 2012; 367: 1878-1881
        • Palmieri J.J.
        • Stern T.A.
        Lies in the doctor-patient relationship.
        Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2009; 11: 163-168
      8. Armitage D, Bhabha H, Dench E, et al. The teaching of the arts and humanities at Harvard College: Mapping the future. Accessed October 10, 2013.

        • Boyce B.
        2011 Future Connections Summit on Dietetics Practice, Credentialing, and Education: Summary of presentations on shaping the future of the dietetics profession.
        J Am Diet Assoc. 2011; 111: 1591-1599
        • Platt J.R.
        Strong inference: Certain systematic methods of scientific thinking may produce much more rapid progress than others.
        Science. 1964; 146: 347-353